Defence minister arrives on maiden visit to Jammu and Kashmir

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived here on Friday on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the overall security situation on the borders.

This was the first visit of Ms Sitharaman as Defence minister of the country early this month.

The visit come at a time when Pakistani troops are violating 2003 ceasefire almost daily, particularly in Jammu region and attempts are being made from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to send trained militants into this side before the infiltration routes are closed due to snowfall.

A large number of militants are waiting at launch pads to sneak into this side
Security forces, however, failed a number of infiltration attempts and killed about a dozen militants during the past one month near Line of Control (LoC).

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“There is need to change the discourse (on J&K) for future generations. We have to change the agenda.There is no such issue as Kashmir issue. It is as much a part of India as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar or any other state,”

“The only issue if at all is how to retrieve a part of Kashmir which is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan for the past 70 years and restore the Valley in the same format as was handed over by Maharaja Hari Singh.”

The Defence Minister recently held talks with US Defence Secretary James Mattis, during which she raised the issue of terrorist havens in Pakistan. In a joint press conference, Sitharaman had said,